U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the U.S. Marshals Service steered a mass seizure of FDA-regulated spices and food additive products held for sale under insanitary conditions, on behalf of the agency.
Specifically, these food products were exposed to widespread rodent infestation as well as other pests, such as live and dead insects.
The seizure came to a close at Lyden Spice Corporation in Miami, Florida, where the food products seized at the property consist of more than 25,000 boxes/bags of bulk ready-to-eat (RTE) spices and food additives, such as monosodium glutamate, crushed red chili and sesame seeds.
The Acting FDA Commissioner, Janet Woodcock, M.D., pointed out the critical role played by the agency in safeguarding the U.S. food supply and helping to ensure that food is not contaminated at any point during its journey along the supply chain.
“We take our responsibility seriously and will continue to take action against those who threaten the safety and quality of the products we regulate as a necessary step to protect the public health and the safety of Americans. The widespread insanitary conditions found at the Lyden Spice Corporation are disturbing and won’t be tolerated,” she said.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed the grievance in the interests of the FDA in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. It alleged that the food products at Lyden Spice Corporation’s facility are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and requested that the food products be condemned and forfeited to the United States.
The complaint alleges that an inspection of Lyden Spice Corporation that the FDA conducted between June 8 and June 28, 2021, revealed insanitary conditions, including rodent feces too numerous to count on and around pallets with containers of food. There was also evidence of rodent gnawing, urine on food containers, and rodent nesting material between food pallets.
The FDA investigators also observed live and dead insects on food packaging, as well as apparent bird droppings in the food storage area.
Lyden Spice Corporation deals in a wide variety of quality spices, herbs and other food ingredients. It makes at least 26 different products that they claim “meet the global regulatory standards.” Among the products the company sells are spices like black pepper, nutmeg, turmeric; jarred and canned products including apricots, pear, fresh garlic, and mushrooms; and food additives like citric acid and stevia.